Impact Unicorn: Rightful Indian Legacy For G20 The forum represents the world largest economies, sets a common agenda on global issues, both economic and political, and involves Heads of States and various other political leaders and the country that presides the G20, has the potential opportunity to shape the vision for the Global Economy and Geopolitics
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G20 is the powerful global forum that sets the agenda for the largest 20 economies to align around broad political and economic goals through a policy communique. The Presidency of G20 Forum is a rotating one and India is the President for the year 2023.
The forum represents the world largest economies, sets a common agenda on global issues, both economic and political, and involves Heads of States and various other political leaders and the country that presides the G20, has the potential opportunity to shape the vision for the Global Economy and Geopolitics.
As the President of G20, India has the opportunity to stamp its legacy and it not a surprise that Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi, celebrated as the Startup Prime Minister of India, chose to set up a Startup 20 Engagement Group as part of India's lasting legacy to the G20.
Startups have always been part of the discussion at the G20 but as part of the much broader B20 engagement group. The B20 represents interest of global corporates and has a broader mandate and that limits visibility for startups and reduces the ability of startups to have a serious voice at the G20 platform. The Startup 20 Engagement Group thus gives an opportunity to align G20 policies to promote the cause of startups.
The Startup 20 Engagement Group is further sub divided in 3 task forces viz. Foundation & Alliances, Finance, Inclusion & Sustainability, which are all working to put together a policy communique including best practices from across the globe, including India, to help set the policy agenda for G20, with the intention to deliver the best global ecosystem for grooming of startups.
The Indian start up ecosystem has many things to offer to the world, including a highly vibrant startup community, the third largest number of unicorns in the world and one of the fastest growing start up ecosystems. As per the Hurun List of 2023, India has 138 unicorns and there is a significant flywheel effect at work; as more unicorns are produced, more are born. Between 2015 and 2022, India's startup ecosystem saw a 9x increase in investment and also produced its first Decacorn, reflecting the transformative power of startups.
Beyond these impressive achievements in the startup space, what India can really offer to the world is its passionate chase to drive entrepreneurial spirit, through both government and private initiatives, to address the complex social challenge that humanity faces.
India is probably the only country that has assiduously built up businesses that have sustainability, with equality & ethics at their core and with the ambition to impact millions of people. The legacy that started with Amul, probably one of the most famous Impact Unicorns, and has been taken forward even in the new age with the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) with UPI and Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), with the potential to be next disruptive impact unicorn.
The impact delivered by these government initiated impact unicorns has been matched by the private entrepreneurs and investors, who have built impact delivering businesses across sectors including microfinance, agriculture & agri-tech, waste, water and sanitation, etc. There has been the emergence of an entire new sector called "Impact Investing" that has assets of US$ 1 trillion under management worldwide and is inspiring more startups to address complex social challenges from waste, water to health and education and building the Impact Unicorns of the future.
As the Startup 20 Engagement Group sets itself to influence the world, the idea of Impact Unicorns channeling the disruptive capability of the global startup ecosystem to meet the Sustainable Development Goals and achieve a world free of hunger, poverty and inequity by 2030, could be its central message and India's inspiration to the world.